Page 22 of The Other Man

I knew he was willing to do it because he said so, but he looked like he wanted to be anywhere else.  He was too restless and edgy to ever take waiting in stride.

Having this in mind, I tried to go through the rest of my list quickly, hoping to relieve or at least keep him company before he lost his patience, and oh, I don’t know, stormed the meat counter.

I caught glimpses of him as I perused the produce.  He had women on either side of him in line, and the redheaded one behind him seemed to be trying to get his attention.

Of course this had me peeking between shopping, watching in small glimpses as she inched closer to him.

She was young.  No surprise there.  And hot.  Again, no surprise.  Sin City was teeming with young hot things, all here to pursue a career in the seedier side of the entertainment business.

She struck me as a performer on an off day, her face scrubbed free of makeup, her clothes casual but revealing a shapely, lithe figure.  She had the body and looks that fit anything from an acrobat to a showgirl, or perhaps a cocktail waitress if she was really new to town.

And she just kept inching closer to Heath.  Every time I looked, she was a step further into his space.

Oh my God.  I was jealous.  Again.  Viciously so.  And I hated it.

Jealousy was more powerful of a thing than I’d ever given it credit for, I realized.

The idea of it was so much less volatile than the feeling of it.

The actuality of it, where before it had always been in my mind some sort of abstract concept, was quietly blowing my mind with how awful it was.

No wonder it was so destructive.

I wanted to do something violent and mean to that nitwit for so much as trying to get his attention.

It was insane.  I hated that woman.  She was my enemy the second she made a move on him.

Which was so out of character for me.

I was a girl’s girl.  It was kind of ridiculous how easily I made female friends on a regular basis.

I was a woman that bonded with other women, fast and easy.

I was close with every girl my boys had ever dated for any length of time.  Hell, I made new girlfriends nearly every time I went shoe shopping.

I racked my mind and couldn’t come up with a time in recent memory that I’d met a woman and had it even cross my mind to look at them as competition.

And here I was, hating on some woman at the grocery store.

I tried to shake it off.

The funny thing was, Heath did nothing on his end to provoke my jealousy.

His arms were folded across his chest in a standoffish manner.  His feet were planted far apart, and the closer forward she would edge, speaking to him now, the more he’d turn his body away from her.

He was not encouraging the woman.

He was not flirtatious.  Just the opposite.  Like at the gym, he was hostile to the woman for so much as speaking to him.  Brutally so.

But I remembered clearly how fast, how aggressively, he’d gotten me into bed.

And he hadn’t had to flirt to do it.

On the other hand, though, he had definitely been the one to approach me, so there was that.

He turned and said something to her briefly, then faced forward again.  The girl looked properly put in her place.

I didn’t have to hear a word to know what had happened.

She came knocking, and he slammed the door shut in her face.

I fucking loved it.

Biting back a smile, I continued my shopping.

It made me feel all warm and fuzzy as I realized that I’d never seen him show even a remote interest in another woman within my presence.

He made me feel good about myself, and the feeling seemed to be very mutual.

I approached him with a full cart when he was nearly to the front of the line.

I was just in time, it seemed.

The girl was still talking to him, still trying.  She must have been one of those pretty girls who’d never been told no before and didn’t know how to take it gracefully.

Heath pointed his chin at me as I moved closer.  “That’s a good question,” he was saying, his biting voice intimating clearly that it was not a good question.  “Why don’t you ask my wife?”

My eyes went wide, mouth drawing open into a surprised O.

“Your . . .” the girl’s voice trailed off as she got a look at me.

“Ask me what?” I spoke to him, playing along, because I thought it was adorable and kind of fascinating that he’d gone with wife instead of girlfriend in order to get this random girl off his back.

“What do I like to do for fun, honey?” he asked me, deadpan.

I bit my lip to keep in a laugh.  The wicked part of me wanted to say Me.  He likes to do me for fun.

Instead I said, “He loves movies.  Romantic comedies are his favorite.”

The silly girl didn’t say another word.

And Heath gave me a smile that was downright fond for that.

“Waiting forty minutes for some meat,” he muttered to me as I moved to stand next to him.  “Never seen anything like it.”

I grimaced.  “Yeah.  Sorry about that.  Saturdays at this place are a bitch.”

“You have nothing to be sorry for.  This whole plan was hatched by Rafael and me.  I’m the one that volunteered us to cook tonight.”


That was something.  Nothing he did or said was ever what I expected.  I was constantly caught off-guard, mostly in a good way, and I wondered if this man would ever stop surprising me.


By the time we finished shopping, Heath was fairly twitching with impatience.  Standing around or even moving leisurely made him very antsy.

As soon as we got into my car, I saw at least part of the reason for it.

He was all over me in a flash, mouth on mine, one hand diving into the bottom of my dress, the other into the top.

In the store, he hadn’t so much as touched me, and I hadn’t minded or been surprised.  He didn’t strike me as the type who liked PDA.

But here, with the most superficial veneer of privacy around us, he didn’t, or couldn’t, hide his ravenous hunger.

“We’re just a few minutes from my house,” I gasped into his mouth.

He groaned and wrenched himself away.  With impatient movements, he put the car in gear and started to drive.

He seemed to have himself in hand by the time we made it to the house.

It took two trips between the both of us to get all of the groceries into the kitchen.

I was unloading the first bag when he pressed in behind me, mouth going to my neck, his big hands palming my breasts.

I leaned back against him, my eyes rolling up in pleasure.

“I have a lot of prep to do before dinner,” I told him, trying (and failing) to use a firm tone.

“At some point today,” he breathed into my ear, “I’m going to snap and take you.  I can’t spend this many hours with you in a row and not have you.  That’s a fact.  You want it to be now or right around the time your sons show up to have dinner with us?”

He made a very good point.  A very good, panty dropping point.

“Better we do this now than later,” he continued.  “Trust me on this.”

My hands covered his, just one of many signs of my acquiescence.

I didn’t let him take me in the kitchen, but it was a close thing.

We made it to the bedroom, but only just.  The bed was far too ambitious.  We ended up on the floor, on hands and knees with mad abandon, a few feet shy of our goal.

He gripped handfuls of my hair and rode me, hard and fast.

We were showered and re-dressed, a good hour later, before we got to the task of tackling dinner.

I could cook to impress.  It was a fact that I took pride in.  My gourmet chef father had taught me from the time I was a small child.  But I didn’t want to overdo it for this meal.

I wasn’t planning to make anything too highfalutin.  My boys were used to that sort of thing, but I didn’t want to be inconsiderate to Heath.  I was certain from what I’d gathered about him that he liked simpler food.  And that was fine.  I could do simple and give it a nice gourmet edge.  Sometimes that was the best food of all—the simple and superb.

I’d decided to go with a chestnut soup with bacon and chives for an appetizer, green beans with shallots, hazelnuts, and tarragon accompanying a comfort style beef bourguignon pot pie for the main course.  And, after briefly and frustratingly trying to grill Heath about his preferences (the man would never tell me what kind of food he liked), I decided to go with a classic chocolate mousse for dessert, because who didn’t like chocolate mousse?

It was a bit alarming how good Heath was at being a sous chef.  Alarming because he knew his way unerringly around every inch of my kitchen.

When I needed bay leaves, he knew which shelf in my extensive spice collection to search.  When I asked for a star anise pod, he didn’t have to ask where or what it was.

Some part of my brain kept picking at that, but I was having too nice of a day, so I brushed it off.

He was so efficient, in fact that I wound up giving him a break from the position about an hour before my boys were set to arrive.

He didn’t seem to mind at all, just grabbed an apple, set himself away from me on the far side of my large kitchen leaning back against the counter and ate his apple while he watched me work.

Tags: R.K. Lilley Romance